Apr 04, 2018

Gold Cup Fast Facts: The Fork 2018

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

In 2017 The Fork Horse Trials moved from its home of 15 years in Norwood, N.C. to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. and for 2018 the event will continue at Tryon. This year The Fork CIC3* will serve as an official World Equestrian Games (WEG) test event in addition to both the CIC3* and Advanced divisions serving as Gold Cup classes. Sixty-five pairs will be competing in the Series looking for their Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final qualification.

  • There are 42 entries in the CIC3* – a big increase from last year’s 20 starters.
  • 13 combinations are entered in the Advanced Test A division and 10 in the Test B.
  • Eight nations are being represented in the CIC3*: Canada, Ecuador, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA.
  • 28 of the CIC3* and Advanced entries are targeting a spring CCI4*.
  • The top three finishers from last year’s CIC3* are all returning this year. Raylyn Farm’s RF Scandalous, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) ridden by Marilyn Little is coming off a win at the Red Hills CIC3* and Doug Payne and Debi Crowley’s Vandiver, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Visions of Grandeur) just won the Carolina CIC3* so both are primed for top spots, however last year’s third-placed  Cooley Cross Border, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Diamond Roller x Whos Diaz) owned by the Cross Syndicate and ridden by Kim Severson had an impressive dressage and show jumping at Carolina so could be out for a win here.
  • Both Advanced division winners from 2017 will also be returning, but will be tackling the CIC3* this year. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deborah Halliday’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding (Radolin x Argentina XII), Fernhill By Night, won the A division while Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best won the B division. The 11-year-old Trakehner gelding (Hirtentanz 2 x Hauptstutbuch Baronesse XII)  is owned by the Bentley’s Best Group.
  • Jessica Phoenix has the most rides in the CIC3* – a total of four (Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Bentleys Best, Pavarotti, and Bogue Sound) while Phillip Dutton has three rides in the CIC3* (I’m Sew Ready, Fernhill Cubalawn, and Z)
  • Leslie Law has taken over the rides on several of Caroline Martin’s horses after she injured her foot at Carolina International. He is riding Islandwood Captain Jack in the Advanced-A alongside his ride Voltaire de Tre, and Spring Easy and The Apprentice are both entered in the Advanced-B.
  • There are four horses tackling their first CIC3*: Leamore Master Plan, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash) ridden by Ariel Grald and owned by Annie Eldridge; Samantha Elsenaar and Banbury Sky, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding (Verdi x Solitaire Sky); Oakport Strauss, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Haumayoun owned and ridden by Autumn Schweiss; and RF Cool Play, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Condors Champion x Roxana) owned by the Donner Syndicate and ridden by Lynn Symansky.
  • The cross-country course will be held on the converted White Oak golf course and is designed by Capt. Mark Phillips and Tremaine Cooper.
  • Show jumping will take place in reverse order of standing on Sunday in the George Morris Arena and the course will be designed by Chris Barnard.
  • Andrew Bennie from New Zealand is the President of the CIC3* Ground Jury with Jane Hamlin also serving as a judge.
  • The Fork is hosting several parties throughout the week including a "What the Fork" Party on Saturday Night, a Ladies Champagne Brunch on Friday, Comedy Club on Friday, and a Lakeside Lunch on Saturday.
Both CIC3* dressage and show jumping will be held in the George Morris arena in the center of TIEC. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Gold Cup Competition Schedule

Thursday, April 5 9:00 a.m. – CIC3* dressage 1:00 p.m. – Advanced dressage

Friday, April 6 9:00 a.m. – CIC3* dressage

Saturday, April 7 10:45 a.m. – Advanced and CIC3* cross-country

Sunday, April 8 10:00 a.m. – Advanced show jumping 11:00 a.m. – CIC3* show jumping

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About the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series

The 2018 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series features 11 qualifying competitions throughout the United States at the Advanced horse trials and CIC3* levels. The qualifying period begins August 2017 and continues through August 2018 with the final taking place at the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, August 29 – September 2, 2018. Riders who complete a qualifier earn the chance to vie for $40,000 in prize money and thousands of dollars in prizes and the title of Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final Advanced Division.

The USEA would like to thank AdequanStandlee Hay CompanyNutrenaMerck Animal HealthParker Equine Insurance, and FITS for sponsoring the 2018 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.

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